Sinking of the James J. Francesconi and the Tramp

Discovery Deep
P.O. Box 391
Great Falls, VA 22066


Sinking of the James J. Francesconi and the Tramp

On Saturday 1 May 2016, in coordination with Olympus Dive Center of Morehead City, North Carolina, Discovery Deep launched its project to document and collect scientific observations on the first artificial reef off the North Carolina coast in a decade. Discovery Deep team members mounted and set cameras on the James J. Francesconi and the Tramp prior to the sinking, and then dove the new reef site to recover the cameras and film the site for the first time.

"This was going to be a great opportunity for us to build our partnership with Bobby Purifoy and the Olympus Dive Center. They’ve supported us from our beginnings, and working with them on this project affords us the opportunity to collect scientific data that’s not often available,” commented Frank Stopa, Discovery Deep Chief Executive Officer. “We’re helping the marine science world learn more about creating marine habitats and preserving our oceans."

In addition to having dive teams visit the site regularly to collect and catalogue their own observations, Discovery Deep is building a citizen science database and training course to encourage and enable recreational divers to contribute their own observations to the data.

"With the decline of organic coral reefs worldwide, the creation of artificial habitats is imperative to protecting marine life," added Mohamed Hafez, Discovery Deep’s Chief Technology Officer and leader of the first dive team on the new site.


Discovery Deep provides data and sample collection support to scientific and academic organizations, and certain commercial interests. All of this is focused on furthering humankind’s understanding, knowledge and appreciation of the world’s oceans, seas and waterways.